Berlin’s a city of ghosts, and on Halloween they come out to play. Here are some of Berlin’s spookiest ghost stories.
In Berlin, the things that go bump in the night are usually found in one of the city’s many dark rooms, but the supernatural activity this city holds goes way beyond that, and has existed throughout its entire history. To celebrate Halloween, we’ve compiled some of the city’s most terrifying ghost spottings.
The Burning Bakery
In 1947 in post-war Berlin, Herr and Frau Schneider, who both came from a family of bakers, opened a traditional Berlin bakery on Seumestasse.
It soon became a local institution, famous throughout Friedrichshain for its fresh schrippen and Bauernbrot. It even had a boom during the Cold War years – selling ‘Berliners’ with an ironic twist – which certainly pleased the local DDR party members.
But their fortunes changed in 1994 when, with Herr Schneider’s health failing due to old age, an oven was accidentally left on. A blaze took over the bakery, engulfing the backroom apartment where the Schneiders were soundly sleeping. Their funeral even made the local newspapers.
Now, a Backshop and Stehcafe stands at the site of the bakery that sells hard baguettes, croissants with nutella in and coffee from a machine. But locals still say that, if you wake up early enough, you can sometimes still catch the scent of freshly baking bread.
Things That Go ‘Bump’
When Lars, an aspiring DJ, moved to Berlin in 2013, encountering the paranormal was the last thing he had in mind. He quickly found an apartment in Neukölln, paying only 1200EUR a month in rent. But that’s when Lars’ life quickly changed.
Whilst practising his latest mix (he did have an upcoming gig), he heard a deep, violent thumping noise coming from his wall. Was it just the pipes? It was an old building, Lars thought. He thought nothing more about it, put his headphones back on and changed record.
But it didn’t stop: the ghostly sound returned again and again, always around 2am, and sometimes Lars could even hear wailing coming from some otherworldly plane.
As Lars’ career began to take off (by now he’d played twice at Suicide Circus), his nightly visitor began to take a toll on his health. And then the messages started. One morning, he awoke to find the words ‘I can’t fucking sleep!’ scratched into his apartment door.
Lars had never really believed in ghosts. But he did know what ghosts were: souls trapped between worlds, unable to find rest in the afterlife. He soon grew attached to this wandering spirit, often answering his wall-thumps with a friendly thump in return. But soon, the thumping stopped altogether. Lars was relieved to think that his ghost-friend had finally found peace.
Weeks later, talking to a neighbour from a different floor, Lars discovered that in fact, someone had died in their house. A man was once found hanging in his room–the exact room next to where Lars was living.
The Ghost Airport
Can something be a ghost if it was never really alive? The thought is enough to send shivers down your spine.
It’s been thought for a long time that the BER Airport is haunted – especially from a project management point of view. Built over a financial and political graveyard, the site is rife with paranormal activity.
But there is a ghost story surrounding the airport that has until now been a closely guarded secret – conspiracy even – of the international air-disaster investigation community. It involves the black boxes found in plane-crash wreckages.
If the media knew the truth, we’d all have to question what we believe to be real. Because in the very last millisecond before impact, the planes’ black boxes registered coordinates miles away from their final destinations. They pin-point their location to be directly on the runway of BER Airport. Every time.
Phantom plane-landings have been spotted by locals in the area of the ghost airport, light-less planes careening onto the runways in the dead of night, and people even suggest that those plane lost, never found, are resting in the cavernous hangers of BER Airport.
It’s said their ghostly passengers enjoy their afterlives at Tropical Islands, with all the other lost souls.